Asset Planning, Inc Blog

The latest from the team.

What Happens to Your Social Media & Online Accounts When You Die?

Until very recently there was really no estate planning direction on how your social media and online accounts should be handled after you pass away. If you're like me, I have multiple social media accounts and have opted to go paperless on every account that I can. Though this is the most convenient option for us now it may pose a problem when you pass away and there are no instructions or information left for your loved ones. I recently listened to a webinar hosted by TLD Law that gave out some great information and tips on how these digital assets should be handled.

First, we'll talk about what digital assets really are. Digital assets are considered any electronic record that is stored in an online account, not the online account itself. For example: You have a Gmail account, the Gmail account and address are not considered a digital asset. The digital assets would be any emails, pictures or other files in the email account.

Here are some other examples of digital assets:

Airplane Miles, Social Media, Software Licenses, Websites, Cryptocurrencies and any other digital file stored with in an online account or your computer; think Shutterfly, iCloud etc.

One quick way to ensure that your digital assets are taken care of after you die is buy completing a Power of Attorney specifically for those digital assets. The Power of Attorney should have a digital assets provision in it.

If you have a trust in place you should check it to see if there is a provision for digital assets. If the trust document was drafted before 2017 it likely does not, and you will need to amend the trust accordingly.

In the trust and power of attorney documents you should give clear instructions on how you would like your digital assets taken care of when you pass away.

By law, anyone you give this responsibility to will have a fiduciary duty of care, loyalty and confidentiality to uphold. What that means is that they are not allowed to share any personal information that has not already been made public.

A lot of online sites have either legacy contact information or inactive user account manager options that you can set up in your account profiles. Whoever you designate will be contacted after a certain length of time, usually chosen by you, where your account has not been active.

It's important to note that by giving some power of attorney over your digital assets, the companies that hold that information are not legally required to give them access to the online accounts. It is very important to compile an ongoing list of all of your online accounts as well as passwords and keep it in a safe place that your trusted person knows about. Downloading this information onto a hard drive and keeping it in a safety deposit box or fireproof safe are a couple of options. If you simply just give someone this information without the proper legal documents their attempt to log into your account may be misconstrued as computer fraud and may be prosecuted. Especially in the case of elderly parents or grandparents, because there is a heightened awareness of elderly abuse.

There is a ton more information and tips online. I highly encourage you to do some research and get these provisions in place.

 

 

 

 

Continue reading
  330 Hits
330 Hits

Do You Have a Plan for Your Aging Parents?

It’s a known fact that people are living a lot longer than they used to. Do you have a plan in place for your aging parents? I came across an interesting article in Financial Advisor Magazine about the toll being a care taker for your aging parents can put on you financially and emotionally. If you are facing the prospect of being the caretaker for your parents as they get older, the time is now to start having the important conversations with your family about getting an action plan together for their care.

Click here to read the full article

 

 

 

Continue reading
  351 Hits
351 Hits

Looking for Ways to Donate and Get a Tax Break?

Many times we are asked by our clients about ways they can give back through planned gifting. In our last quarterly newsletter, Carol explained how you can donate part or all of your mandatory IRA distributions (RMD) to a charity of your choice which also reduces your taxable income for the year. Another way of doing this is by setting up a charitable annuity. The way it works is the donor gives a gift to the charity (amounts vary), the donor receives fixed payments for life and the donor is entitled to a federal income tax deduction the year the gift is made. I have included a link to one that is offered through the ASPCA to use as an example but there are many more out there to suit everyone’s unique philanthropic wishes.

https://www.aspca.org/ways-to-give/planned-giving

Continue reading
  724 Hits
724 Hits

Emergency Information Folder

We talk to clients everyday about how important estate planning is and how they should have a trust in place to ensure that their wishes are met after they pass away or become incapacitated. While having a trust set up is great it doesn’t really provide all of the details necessary for a spouse or loved one to take care of the day to day tasks of wrapping up your affairs. It is a really good idea to create an information folder that provides the pertinent details such as account numbers and passwords. This is also valuable to have in case of an emergency such as a car accident or house fire. You can grab this folder and go. Here is a list of information you should have in the folder.

• Assets: checking and investment accounts, private business interests, location of safety deposit boxes, annuities, individual retirement accounts and 401(k)s, trust agreements, real estate, vehicles, collectibles

• Liabilities: credit cards, mortgages, car payments, cell phone bills, other recurring bills • Social media/online accounts: passwords and login information for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Amazon, PayPal, eBay, Netflix, Hulu, iCloud or other cloud storage accounts, online photo storage accounts

• Miscellaneous subscriptions/memberships: airline rewards programs, Sam’s, BJ’s or Costco memberships, toll tag accounts, magazines, newspapers • Insurance: life insurance, long-term care, disability, home, auto

• Home maintenance: water, gas, electricity, telephone, alarm, lawn care, cable television, Internet service • Medical: medical conditions, medications, emergency contacts

• Personal: burial/cremation preferences, funeral plans, pre-paid funeral expenses, birth certificates, marriage certificates, Social Security card

• Key contacts: financial and legal advisors, doctors, family members, close friends

Each person’s folder will require different information but this is a good start and you can customize it as needed. It also may be a good idea to keep a copy of this information in a folder in your email account, that way you only need to have one password to give out and everything is backed up by the cloud.

(This list was compiled from an article on wealthmanagement.com)

Continue reading
  1018 Hits
1018 Hits

Top Reasons to Set Up a Living Trust

 

Even if you are not super wealthy there are many benefits to setting up a living trust. A living trust is a document set up by an estate attorney to help you manage your assets, including property while you are alive and names a trustee to act on your behalf to carry out your instructions, if you become incapable of caring for yourself or pass away. Here are a few of the top reasons why you should set up a trust.

Avoids Probate- A trust allows your heirs to bypass probate which can be a lengthy process and your estate can be charged up to 5% in probate fees. This can mean a substantial savings in time, legal fees and paperwork.

Protection Against Disputes- Unfortunately there may be someone who is unhappy with the way you have instructed to have your assets distributed. A trust is harder to contest than a will is because they have to be able to prove that you were under undue pressure or influence in setting up the trust which is nearly impossible.

Flexibility- Trusts offer more flexibility in how you can distribute the funds. In the case where you may have minor children you can specify how the money is spent and when they would have full rights to the funds.

Avoids Estate Taxes- A trust can provide a way to avoid or reduce estate taxes because assets and property placed into a trust are not subject to these taxes.

Minimizes Family Conflicts- You can specifically detail exact items and monetary distributions to be given to each beneficiary. This helps to curtail any of the “who gets what” problems that may arise with family members.

Privacy- Trusts, unlike wills, are private because they do not go through probate. This means your assets and who you leave them to are kept private.

Continue reading
  1000 Hits
Tags:
1000 Hits

Search Blogs Module

Wait a minute, while we are rendering the calendar
markets September 9 Expired medications years Labor Day email notifications Social Security Administration Part D premiums . California Lions Friends tax records Shred paperwork disaster areas fun facts integral member privacy settings account numbers cell phone service provider items Medicare question credit freeze operations manager blog post National Ice Cream month offering insurance scams estate planning direction donation items paper records Orange County Superior Court April 15 July 3 rd vision screening company coronavirus Notary Public Flexible Spending Account breach parking spots web address banking June 29 pet donation drive card reader documents phone credit card fraud Economic Security settlement options https :// tax deadline Erin Nelsen D premiums Open House payments text messages relief efforts April 11 Medicare Advantage trust Medicare Part B premiums phone companies Open Enrollment CFP ® self-help topics IRA accounts emergency kit COVID -19 virus flash drive business hours Charles Schwab Wells Fargo employees life saver clients credit score September 8 23 andme borrowing money insurance policy clients show support interest phishing sites home September 30 2020. debt health care costs cell phone provider contribution limit credit cards rescue organizations July weekend 4 pm -8pm information Facebook Legal robocalls estate planning July 4 car loans tax returns IRS February 14 ice cream illiegal robocallers VOIP landline phones market turmoil vacation identity theft app retirement accounts retirement plans earnings fallout house sitter pets pet holidays approach October 1 2020. water … 2017 IRA contributions July 6 DNA test kits news coverage bottom line tax filing deadlines opt-out emergency kits president Trump CARES Act Supplemental Security Income hurricane Dorian records ID card Joey Gonzales non-prescripstion sunglasses fees fun atmosphere Medicare Part B April 18 2017. home break-ins TD Ameritrade spring cleaning prescription eyeglasses check lists Treasury Department home mortgages memorial Day weekend estate CA FTB retirement Medicare plan credit monitoring service insurance policies clone counterfeits Facebook profile cell phones client portal 401K money Ice Cream Social Asset Planning phishing scams Fox News story family members credit card company consumer spending Roth IRA assets stimulus package checklists increase Social Security notary services Affordable Care Act tax season Healthcare chip-enabled EMV cards interest rates home emergency preparedness kits Financial Planning Magazine 20 year anniversary pet supplies cell phone carriers offer home security Coronavirus Aid team members Medicare IRS deadline birth certificates cell phone SIM swap scam CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER exam jury duty 2017 Equifax breach padlock summer 2018 IRA contributions investment statements tax deadlines home emergency kit partner /owner Orange County Brexit vote official certification Wells Fargo customers spread executive order portal privacy notices https ://seekingalpha Kiplinger Letter 2017 TD Ameritrade National LINC Conference emergency folder Mobile Banking Security Tips policy Victor Dergunov health care services student loans ice cream event Part B earthquake app Independence Day people medications donation counts cell phone carriers drive /usb Auto insurance Federal Trade Commission website retirement planning Amazon FSA January 10 trustee Retirement Contribution Limits pet industry information Kraig Mathias FEMA website 70 1/2. media accounts paperwork clutter toilet paper spam phone driver license wells Fargo stock pile “ skimmer ”. 900 number identity thieves Two-Step Verification Puerto Rico asset Planning gap insurance EEChecklist-Kits.pdf stockpilingchecklist.pdf